Goodbye Honeymoon… Hello Relationship

The honeymoon period in most relationships is usually crammed with the culmination of endearing gestures, poignant revelations and spontaneous acts. From being contentedly overwhelmed by the late night phone calls and flirty text messages, to the impulsive date nights and that feeling of being totally besotted with each other; it is easy to conclude that the dating process with the right person can be extremely pleasurable! However, similar to the purchase of a new car, or the acquisition of a new property, it is only human nature for the initial exhilaration and novelty to wear off and become part of the norm. So what do you do when you have cleared the initial hurdles only to be confronted by another relationship stumbling block, where communication diminishes, spontaneous gestures stop and he outwardly expresses a preference to spend an evening out with the boys?

General Paranoia Vs Women’s Intuition

With the explosion of celebrity infidelities, shocking chat shows and the continuous growth of the social media, it is hard not to start scrolling through his phone, hacking his Facebook or checking his pockets. However, every relationship is unique and should be treated as such. So whilst his lack of constant affection may be a sign that he is losing interest, it could also indicate a new sense of security where he no longer feels the need to outwardly devote all his attention to his chosen soul mate. Intuition can provide answers behind suspicious activity or a change in behaviour, but be cautious as not all change is detrimental.

Sorry babe I’m busy!

Do you remember the time when your partner had the innate ability to juggle his appointments, postpone meetings and deprive himself of sleep in order to tend to your needs? Suddenly you come to a point in your relationship where all your invites are declined; excuses are commonplace and you no longer feel like a priority, due to his ‘work commitments.’ Rejection at any level can dent one’s pride, but it can be particularly hurtful if you are used to a set behaviour. Nonetheless, the word ‘busy’ literally translates to unavailable and should not be taken personally once you have settled into a relationship. Whilst his sudden change in priorities could indicate a straying eye, with the dramatic increase of shift work and longer hours, he could just be trying to keep up with a demanding and hectic schedule. Moreover, this sudden focus of tending to previously neglected commitments may simply reflect his contentment and the fact that he is positively looking to a future with you.

But I promised the boys…

You may not understand why he would prefer an evening out with the lads or constantly cancels when he has his son for the weekend, but if your initial conversations were dominated by stories which included them, it should not be a surprise. Bear in mind that whilst you may have been his focal point initially, friends do get jealous, unexpected events happen and people usually adjust to the way of life they are most comfortable with. So before you reach for his phone, schedule a drink with your friends and focus on ensuring that you make more of the quality time you have together. After a stressful day at work, help him loosen his collar and release that tie, by being that much needed tentative, amusing and tactile distraction that he needs.

We don’t talk like we used to

Most people text on an impulse and if you are the only thing occupying his mind and he wants to make contact, he will! So how do you go from overwhelming wake up calls and complimentary texts, to uneventful two minute calls where you discuss why he did not get his monthly bonus? Naturally, you may come to the conclusion that he may be communicating with another when you don’t hear from him when you expect to. Even so, you must be realistic. Do not expect the forty text messages a day that you used to receive, as once you are settled, the need to communicate at that extremity becomes less necessary. As a couple, your quality time together should compensate for this as you get to know each other on a more intimate level. So unless you are receiving authentic warning signs of infidelity, (such as no communication, lack of personality on the phone, or long periods of silence), fine tune your imagination to regain his interest via text by perhaps suggesting a back massage or a spontaneous excursion.

Change in body language

Whether it is due to lust or infatuation; intimacy, exploration and discovery play significant roles when it comes to getting to know someone new. In the beginning, his gentle tactile nature will be emphasised as you enjoy the benefits of holding hands, affectionately gazing at each other and flirtatiously touching. If you are lucky to experience real chemistry, your attraction will undoubtedly strengthen by that uncontrollable shiver as he whispers in your ear or that warm glow when he caresses your hair. Consequently, as time progresses that physical chemistry should adapt and the discovery process should be more pleasurable.

Not tonight Hun

If your complaint is that your partner seems distant or appears repulsed by the thought of getting intimate, you have to address this immediately as there is obvious cause for concern. However, if you are merely peeved because you no longer intimately engage with the same vivacity or enthusiasm, think before you assume the worst. It is a scientific fact that stress exacerbates most conditions; on an extreme scale that bullying boss or financial stress may cause temporary impotence or affect the libido. Conversely, his lack of interest in bedroom could simply be put down to fatigue. Before you seek solace elsewhere, take some advice from Beyonce in the song Countdown and “run up in the kitchen with your heels on” and make that effort to “meet him at the finish line!”

Meeting someone new and intriguing can expose innovative adventures; mysterious conversations and unearth hidden emotions. Unsurprisingly, we are partial to the endearing features of the person we meet, but as time progresses some of our expectations remain too high. Consequently, whilst one party expects the other to maintain this high level, the other party is now comfortable to be themselves. If he consistently passes up the opportunity to see you, keeps mysteriously vanishing or insists on doing everything on his terms, your intuition is key. However, do not let your imagination go wild; remain alluring, spice it up with impetuous surprises and most importantly talk to him!

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The Thin Line Between Love and Lust

In this era of technology, flashy phones and social networking, instant friendships have come to form an important part of the fabric of our youth. Many young people, at one time or another, believe they are truly in love even if with someone they hardly know. Can young adults really find true love this young? Or do they just see the love side of the coin while the lust side lurks in the dark?

Although we surround ourselves with advancing robotics as the age of technology progresses, the traditional image of love is something which has managed to stay true; however with the internet literally at our finger tips, publicising relationship has become a norm amongst our generation of young lovers. Receiving ‘likes’, ‘comments’ and ‘retweets’ in return for the intimacy shared with our ‘true loves’ has made the concept of ‘puppy love’ more and more tedious and with the number of social networks that bombard the internet now days the it’s not hard to see why.

Social networks in particular have become a foundation for most relationships young and old, making the façade of love claims easier. The quick transition in and out of relationships that occur with young people today examples how easy it can be for us to mistake a lustful relationship for the real deal. Pressures of media and peers add up to more than few of us avidly claiming that he/she were THE ONE… of many. (2673th time lucky)

All in all, as fashionable as being in love or shall I say lust is, heartbreak is on a popular rise. It’s not hard to come across numerous post, tweets and blogs dedicated to a broken heart. Is this just ironic proof that true love is something that the youth of today just can’t find, and with the constant involvement of technology, is this to blame?

Some may say at such a temperamental age where our hormones run wild is it even possible to feel heartbreak when we can barely feel love. Victims of a heartbreak at a young age may protest this notion; however as we move on and realise that what we had was far from love and nothing more than a burst of hormones, we’re left thinking the same way.

It seems as though the capability of loving and finding your true love is something that comes with an older age, experience and even an era perhaps? ‘You’re too young to know what love is’ but it’s not the same feeling we have for our cats and dogs … so what do we feel… lust?

The thin line between love and lust is a thin as we interpret it surely. You can’t explain how you feel but you know how to feel it, which is what love is… right? BUT is it ever possible for young adults of today to really connect with each other and find true love in the same ways of our parents meeting at such tender ages, or just passionately crave our naive counterparts. In a generation where publicity is the new private, finding a true love is something that won’t come as easy to us as it did our seniors.

Adverts for dating sites, advertise love at first sight. Boy meets girl and they interact… IN PERSON. So long story short potential consumers, go ONLINE and find your perfect match. It’s a double standard!

Perhaps the ability to meet people so much easier through the power of the internet is what blurs and distorts the young image of love/lust, most won’t know till it’s over but how can you blame us!

Love sees no age but it is something that lies beyond the depth of a mushy text or ‘changed relationship status’ on the book of faces. As young adults we owe ourselves more privacy, understanding and maturity to find a balance between love and lust in order to find our true loves.

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Give me an F!

What is it about men and the F Word? And by that I mean Feelings. Why are we unable to get an emotion out of a guy? Is it something they are born with, or something they learn over Xbox and packets of pork scratchings. Trying to get an emotion out of a guy is like trying to muffin top yourself into those size 6 jeans. As long as you wear a long top, some heels and large accessories nobody will know that the button mark has now indented itself onto your belly button.

It’s the same with blokes, if they don’t talk about it its not really there. If a guy has a problem then it’s a case of doing everything they possibly can not to deal with it. They’ll go for a drink, wash the car or play Xbox. They seem to have no problem with bottling those demons about work, friends or relationships up. It’s us girls that’s that want to wrench it out of them, like a teenager with too much ache. Pick, pick, pick we go until all the venom is out of you.

Half the time the problem is not even with you and it lies with us. If us girls have a problem we like to talk it through with our girlfriends, get a 2nd, 3rd, 4th opinion from the barmaid after one too many chardonnays. We need to seek advice from our nearest and dearest and that includes you boys too. Don’t get me wrong, nobody likes an emotional wreck of a girlfriend; boohooing because Billy Mitchell ‘just can’t catch a break’. Or because your best mate said those jeans are in fact too tight for you. Nevertheless we girls need a little TLC from our boyfriends sometimes.

When we are seen to be slumped in the other room watching re runs of How I Met Your Mother, necking a large glass of vino; know that popping your head around the bedroom door with a “You ok babe?” and walking off is never going to suffice. Ignoring us will only anger us and we will be forced to plot ways to hurt your Xbox in our dreams. To be ignored is like being dragged past Kurt Geiger in a hurry because “you don’t need another pair of shoes”. It’s because we think that you don’t care, when deep (deep) down we know you do. We don’t need a rendition of A Midsummer Nights Dream (complete with feather hat and quill)… trust me we have no delusions of grandeur here. Just for you to listen, smile, nod along and put your arm around us and tell us it’s ok.

Boys would rather run into the arms of the public house than see us girls upset, not because you don’t care but because you don’t know how to handle us. Having an emotional conversation with your girlfriend is about as appealing as sitting through the opera. Long winded, tearful and sometimes high pitched.

We are simple creatures really… honest. We don’t bite but we may cry a bit. Just don’t mention our muffin top!

What is Considered Cheating?

The definition of infidelity (according to Wikipedia) Infidelity (colloquially known as cheating, adultery, or having an affair) most commonly refers to a breach of an expectation of sexual and or emotional exclusivity expressed or implied in an intimate relationship.

So the definition states that to cheat is to have an affair whether it be emotional or sexual within an intimate relationship.  I agree with that definition that to cheat is to become involved in an intimate relationship.  I also agree that this can be classed as sexual or emotional.  We all know what sexual infidelity is; making out with the local playboy after one too many Jagerbombs.  However what constitutes as emotional infidelity.  Is it being in love with someone, a little flirting with a work colleague or few flirty texts to a friend of yours?

We all know that a full on rendezvous back to his place is classed as cheating well unless you people are in open relationships (that’s another article).  Also that full blown affairs of the heart are normally classed as a big no no.  Sleeping with another man or woman who isn’t your partner is the ultimate in cheating behaviour.  We’ve all been drunk and in situations we’d rather forget with people we’d rather of never met!  Going out with the girls and getting so drunk that you claim you didn’t know what you were doing is one way of looking at kissing someone you shouldn’t have.  You did something that you shouldn’t do and most probably feel really bad for it.  Snogging someone is one thing, but is a kiss on the lips the same as kissing someone with tongues? A kiss on the lips can either be a quick peck or it can be long and lingering and can be just as damaging to your relationship as the proverbial peck.  I think many people would justify a kiss with no tongues as it’s not intimate right?  I kiss my mum and my best friend on the lips, I don’t use my tongues so surely its not cheating?  I think it all boils down to how you feel afterwards, if there is a pang of guilt attacking your heart then it is probably something you should speak to your partner about.

What about girls kissing girls?  Is that still cheating?  Or a bit of fun that your boyfriend wouldn’t mind being involved with, (and possibly sorry that he actually missed it).  Not very long ago I was chatting to a girl in a club and she clearly took my compliments about her tattoos as an opening to come and checkout what I’d had for breakfast because she full on lunged at me and kissed me.  I was in total shock, that’s not to say I didn’t kiss her back!  It was fun but not something I had initiated and would probably never initiate.  But afterwards I felt so guilty I had to tell my boyfriend as soon as I got in that night and then again the next day to make sure he had remembered!  Luckily he was fine with it and just thought it was funny, but I’m sure we would be having a very different conversation if it was a drum and bass wannabe shoving his tongue down my throat!

What about texting and flirting with people?  Is this classed as cheating?  Flirting is one thing, laughing a bit too much at some guys jokes and flicking your hair at every pun (intended).  Some people are just born flirts and flirt with everyone they know and claim they don’t know there doing it (hmm).  Flirting is one thing but exchanging numbers with someone (other than your boyfriend) is another thing.  Sexting is something that everyone is all too familiar of, especially those kids off of TOWIE, it’s all they every do is sent flirty texts to each other’s boyfriends and girlfriends, then consequently spend days rowing about it for days afterwards.  It’s a sneaky way of cheating really as nothing physical goes on, nobody is kissing or making out outside cheeky chicken.  However it is flirty, sexy and can be worse than kissing someone in my eyes.  These are premeditated sexy messages to another person who isn’t your boyfriend or girlfriend.  I think I would rather have my boyfriend kiss another girl drunkenly that get involved in sexting.  At least the kiss is over and done with and he can feel guilty about it for weeks afterwards.  Texting or even calling another person in secret can be just as damaging as the physical infidelity.

Everyone’s perceptions of cheating are going to be different, depending on the type of relationship you have, or what kind of relationship you are in.  However if you are cheating then you probably shouldn’t be in the relationship at all.  If you haven’t told your partner about you kiss, text etc, then it’s probably classed as cheating.  If you feel guilty about it then you probably shouldn’t be doing it at all….so step away from the instant message.

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Opposites Attract

Struck by the way his dark mocha skin complimented her porcelain complexion,
Her conservative image creatively disturbed by his sinuous dreadlocks and loose-fitting jeans,
Struck by their contagious smiles, magnetised by their togetherness,
I come to a halt, caught myself staring and wondered.

beyonce-jay-zMost of us can summon up a time when we have sighted a couple and stopped in amazement due to the randomness of their pairing. Whilst the little angel perched on your shoulder might have invoked a smile; that mischievous devil probably challenged you to do a double take to satisfy either your inquisitiveness, or sheer ignorance. The celebrity world is beleaguered with examples of what the world may consider to be inequitable couples, ranging from Dita Von Teese and Marilyn Manson, to Beyonce and Jay Z. Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley shocked the world with their partnership, whilst Paula Abdul aptly used her song to emphasise the fact that ‘opposites attract.’ The success of any such partnership is testament to the fact that whilst outwardly they may appear incompatible, there is clearly a secret ingredient, spiritual connection, or trait that they both share to make their relationship work.

Ticking the Perfect Box

We all have a surreptitious idealistic checklist of the characteristics that we would like in a partner; whether it be smouldering eyes, the innate ability to communicate, or an incredible sense of humour. Most dream of the ‘butterfly-in-the belly moment’ when they meet that individual with whom they share mutual physical attraction, core values and an undeniable connection on a spiritual level. However, whilst we seem humanly programmed to flock towards those who share similarities, often enough it is the qualities we do not possess that provide the magnetism. But what keeps you together when you are poles apart?

Opening the Pandora box

We may be conditioned to live by the rules of compatibility, but even the media throws unexpected curveballs when the popular school boy falls for his geeky counterpart, or an unpredictable casual relationship turns into more. The reason to take the leap into the unknown varies for each individual and their situation. Some may take the plunge simply out of curiosity, whilst for others, (despite that fact that the physical attraction has always existed), the fear of disapproval or rejection has prevented them from pursuing the object of their desire.

Opposite characteristics may fuel initial attraction, but it is debateable as to whether they can provide the solid grounding needed for a long term relationship. Magnetism to someone different can contribute to the chemistry, invoke fascination and introduce one to a whole new perspective.  The unanticipated arrival of a tactile and spontaneous partner can fill a new relationship with allure and enthralment to the organised individual who lives by routine. The highly-strung person may seek solace in the passive individual and the party girl may hang up her high heels to spend a quiet evening with her more reserved counterpart. However, it can also increase the likelihood of a tumultuous relationship, if you have two different people who are pulled in two different directions.

Weighing up the scales

This scenario is even addressed in literature by authors such as Shakespeare with his witty characters Benedict and Beatrice, notwithstanding the notorious rollercoaster that brought Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele together in E.L James’s saucy novel ‘Fifty Shades of Grey.’ However, in reality, what do you do when your opinions and values differ so much that you cannot even agree on your choice of a TV programme, let alone decide on what religion your child should follow? It is easy to lose sight of the reasons you fell in love with your partner, as they might later become the very things that infuriate and frustrate you. For instance, whilst you may initially have found his respectful and cherished relationship with his mother endearing, the fact that he is a classic ‘mummy’s boy’ may be the source of many arguments.

The Secret Ingredient?

In order to ensure longevity in any relationship, it is important to communicate and learn to compromise. When you are different, it is important to be open to possibilities, focus on surmounting difficulties together and refrain from trying to change the other person. Counsellors, psychotherapist and psychologist all have their theories of what constitutes the perfect relationship, but as every individual is unique, it is impossible to provide one set recipe to success. Accept that you are attracted to your partner for their flaws, as well as their attributes and that you are with that person through personal choice. They say familiarity breeds contempt, but life would be extremely mundane if everyone dated themselves, so with that in mind embrace the unknown and celebrate your differences.

 “Our greatest strength as a human race is our ability to acknowledge our differences, our greatest weakness is our failure to embrace them” (Judith Henderson)

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Birthday Expectations

Today is my birthday but what is it about a birthday that brings out the diva in us girls? It’s all about me, me, me for 24 hours, the world is mine and I shall do with it whatever I choose (or tell you to do). It’s like our inner Veruca Salt (the dreadful spoilt one in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) has finally found a voice for one day of the year. Daddy I want a pony and I want it now! Replace daddy with ‘baby’ and pony with the word ‘Louboutins’ and you have your very own rendition of super sweet sixteen in the middle of your twenties.

I’m a big birthday girl myself, love my birthday and I love celebrating other peoples especially my boyfriends. I love to spoil him, take my time choosing the prefect gift and take him somewhere fancy for the night and get dressed up. Plus drinking in the middle of the day is expected on birthdays, (anyone’s birthday I find).


Of course we want a little bit of pampering and to be spoilt for the day from our loved ones (it’s the only day of the year that you can’t shout at us or tell us no). OK so we know the Louboutins aren’t coming (sign) but we have a day of fun to look forward to right? Maybe a nice lunch or a bit of sight-seeing or shopping, followed by a martini at happy hour. Well not for a dear friend of mine who shall remain nameless for today. Her boyfriend did the exact opposite to her, with a big build up to the day and how excited she was going to be on her birthday. He told her that he had a fabulous day planned and that she was going to love what she’d done for her. So you can imagine the thoughts swimming round in her head. Oh a puppy maybe, a new car, or a trip to London shopping with unlimited access to the platinum, topped off with a trip to Gordon Ramsey’s. How exciting. So they get up and travel up to London all going swimmingly so far yes this could be Oxford Street and a boozy lunch in store, wonderful. Realising they had not got off at Oxford Street, wonders what they could be doing. Slowly, slowly more and more signs for London Zoo appear. OK that’s fine it must be past the zoo whatever where doing? Surely her boyfriend cannot be taking her to London Zoo for her 30th birthday. Surprise! Well that could be a deal breaker for some people, especially when she gets home to a surprise party to find that there is no actual present from her man to be opened at the end of the night. Just a bit of left over zoo food and a guide map.

The fact that there was some thought put into the day is very sweet, but sometimes things can be built up too much from you man and you wish they hadn’t said a word. We love a guy who puts imagination into the day, If thoughts gone into it then we play along and tell you that we love it. However on the other hand some men think it is acceptable to do nothing on their girlfriend’s special day. Another girl I know has been with her partner for many years and every year it’s the same thing. No present, she’s booking the restaurant herself and normally paying for it too. Now there’s a birthday treat you’d rather not get excited for.

Personally I found that going to Las Vegas stopped all of that birthday expectations build up! I was in Vegas seeing a show and having a fancy dinner with my man. I had a wonderful day because I was in Vegas baby! I refused to celebrate my 30th birthday in England, I decided this would be depressing enough as it is without visiting the local hang outs and someone being sick on my shoes come midnight. I advise anyone who has a birthday coming up and does not have faith in their partner to do the right thing, then to book a holiday immediately! He won’t have to put as much effort into it as you will already be happy enough to be on holiday and the chances are you won’t be expecting too much either. Just stay away from the local zoos.

What Kind of Singleton Are You?

Being single is something we all seem experience at some point in our lives; regardless of how we end up being alone its inevitable for most. But like most things in life being single has its ins and outs, up and downs and miss and preconceptions.

We all know better than anyone else how we are when we’re single and overall it would ultimately come down to how we ended up like that, but nonetheless being the simple humans we are it isn’t very hard to slap a label on it. There are many different types of singletons and we all individually embrace it in our own ways, each to their own and all that, but it generally falls into it into 3 categories.

There is a slight misconception when it comes to leading the single life and it’s understandable… it would appear that being single goes hand in hand with having fun.There are worries that you can only have one or the other, independence or a committed relationship…introducing the YWF.

The Young Wild & Free (YWF) Single

This is pretty much what it says on the tin. People sometimes see relationships as a burden or a sacrifice of any remotely interesting life whatsoever, so when they are single there is an over excessive need to ‘live it up’.  Take the likes of pop star Rihanna; we constantly see outrageous images of her ‘enjoying’ being alone and you wouldn’t be wrong in assuming it was probably the best, unremembered, nights of her life. These are qualities the ‘YWF’ singles tend to have. Life is taken in its stride and every day is Friday *fist pumps*.

But don’t be fooled by the wild nights out, constant picture uploads and ‘OMG! WTF! BEST NIGHT EVER’ captions. It may look fun to an outsider looking in but the reality might display a broken person who is not very accepting of their circumstances at all. It’s all a façade… maybe?

Meanwhile on the other side of the spectrum there are the people who just can’t seem to understand why the heck they are single?? In theory they have it all, looks, money; you name it, but always fall short at the hands of cupids bow and arrow. “What gives?” is a question they are all too familiar with; however there is no actual answer. This type of single carries a slight arrogance to their nature, obviously.  Many of us are guilty of this next point from time to time, but If you find yourself looking on at couples, more times than deemed sane,  and wonder what on earth she/he has that you don’t, that he/she is in a relationship and you aren’t… you are in fact the “Why am I single” person. But not to worry there’s never actually anything wrong with you; you’re apparently just “looking in ALL the wrong places”. ALWAYS.

Last but not least…

The WASP (well-adjusted single person)

The WASP. Possibly the best single person you can come across. They have it all in check. A WASP might be in a relationship and be completely content but can also completely accept when they are not. For them being single does not necessarily mean they are looking. It is the middle point between the previous two which allows them to enjoy being single without blind sighting the future in terms of love and relationship. The best quote for a well-adjusted single person would be ‘when life gives you lemons make lemonade’ and this is exactly what a WASP does. They have the blueprints for nearly everything in their lives; except of course how to stay in the relationship but not everything needs a plan I guess.

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Dating in the Workplace

What makes us want to date people in the workplace?  With the office being the forefront of most workplace shenanigans.  With nothing but computers, photocopiers and paperwork to focus on from 9-5, is it any wonder we suddenly have a look around elsewhere.  Steve from accounts has always been a bit dull, but after being transferred to that department a different side suddenly opens up.  Hardly an opening for 50 Shades of Grey, more like 50 Shades of Grey hair.  What attracts us suddenly to Steve in Accounts or Darren in Marketing?  Gradually his stories about finance begin to grow on you and you realise that his ever so slightly receding hairline is actually kinda cute.  Not only that but it’s partly down to laziness too.  You don’t even need to try and flirt that hard because you already know him.  You spend 8 hours a day with him already, know that he has a cat called Thomas and likes to watch re runs of CSI Miami.  You spend all day chatting and in between the real work and spread sheets, you find out that you like going to the same bars and know someone that he went to school with.  It’s like a first date but over the course of 3 months.

Slowly but surely you’re putting a bit more make up on in the morning and wearing a higher heel that would succumb to a health and safety briefing.  Going to work is that little bit more interesting because you’ve got yourself a crush.  God Steve from accounts is suddenly your crush!  Little looks are being thrown to each other in the weekly team brief and you make sure you get the teas in the same time as him.  Hovering over the water fountain like a gazelle in mating season, all lengthy and full of eyelashes.  Lingering looks turn into lunches together and staying late to catch up on assignments.  Flirting turns into brushing past each other at the photocopier.  By this point you have already had each other numbers for some time (work related reason of course) and little text messages pop up now and then.  ‘You look cute in that skirt today xx’.  It’s exciting and exhilarating knowing that you have a little play mate at work,  makes the day go quicker.  Before you know it you are texting each other to go and get stationary supplies (yes it is that cliché in the office).  Pretending to get staples and highlighters but just having a feel up of each other in the 5 minutes you have before your crazy menopausal boss realises you’ve gone.  Of course you return empty handed.

This is the lazy girls way to dating my friend.

This is all very well and good until you become the brunt of Melissa’s idle gossip at the fountain.  A few strange looks from girls you hardly know.  You overhear yours and Steve’s name in the canteen and realise that possibly your little secret is out.  Worried that your boss may find out, you tell Steve that people are inadvertently writing this about you on Facebook, and that you don’t want to be perceived as the office bike.

Eventually after weeks of flirting and dodgy looks at the watering hole, you all go out on a Friday night after work.  11 vodkas and 2 Sambuca’s later it’s just the two of you, drunk, snogging in the back of the taxi and telling each other how awkward this is going to be on Monday.

Its sure is, as Monday rolls around you both walk in sheepishly to the office, your back in your flat shoes and eased up on the lip gloss.  Your team mates are asking ‘What happened to you two after we left?’  As you dart looks at each other and conduct a faux story of leaving just after everybody else, separately.  Of course nobody believes you and the next few weeks you are subjected to groups of girls whispering about you, like you’re in year 9 again.  Your shade of grey rendezvous is over and now Steve is ignoring you.

The moral of the story is don’t eat where you sleep, it will end in tears.  Mostly yours and not his.

Read more here: http://datingreviewer.org/victoriadates-dating-site-review/

 

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How Important is Money in a Man?

How much emphasis do we put on money when searching for an appropriate suitor?  Is it a factor inbred into our nervous systems when looking for our prince (or pauper)?  Oh none I hear you cry?  Money doesn’t matter it’s the person inside and that’s all that matters you say?  OK I believe you….  However there are of course out there obvious gold-diggers who wouldn’t even entertain the idea of dating a man who didn’t earn a comfortable 3 holidays a year, 80k and above.  These women are the obvious kind of money orientated women who believe that St Tropez and Dubai is part and parcel of having an affluent boyfriend.  These women you will usually find propped up against a pole or on Sugardaddie.com searching for a meal ticket to feed their 5 kids.  These are not the lawyers and barristers of the world, oh no.  These are the women who couldn’t make their own money and are looking for someone who does.

diamond

Diamonds – A Girl’s Best Friend?

Nonetheless you don’t need to be so obvious with the wealthy attributes to realise what you will put up with and what you won’t.  There are plenty of my girlfriends who are more than happy to date men who earn less than them and I feel that is very commendable.  How much less is anyone’s guess?  Many men I know don’t feel comfortable with that especially if the wage gap is more than about 10k.  However many man would relish in this prospect of having a 21 century business like woman on their arm.  However there are a number of my girlfriends who have a strict policy of how much a guy should earn and what type of car he drives.  Mercedes tick; Renault Clio keep driving.  They believe that a man should pay for the restaurant, for the holiday and for the jewels.  If they expect all this from their partner then they should not be expected to be treated like an equal.  Instead expect to perform favours on tap and be dropped for someone younger, thinner and prettier in 6-8 months.

Some women consider it merely wanting to feel ‘looked after’.  I use the term loosely because unless you are a bed wetting 5 year old then being able to look after yourself should be second nature in a grown up’s world.  This can boil back to traditions where men were seen as the breadwinner and the woman stayed at home baking bread and baring children.  However in the day and age where women want to be seen as more and more equal especially when it comes to money, to only date men who earn more than you seems rather un equal.  It reverts back to the man being in control and the woman a submissive to his wallet.  It’s no more than what a lady of the night does, sleeps with men for money.   Gold digging women are just a glorified tanned version of a street walker who’s possibly trying to make a better life for herself and her children.

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Peter Jones – Does Money Make the Man?

For all you ladies out there earning a respectable 25k and above, would the idea of entertaining a man on a meagre 15k salary excite you?  Probably not no, does that mean you should dump him?  Probably not no.  The questions you need to ask yourself before hitting delete are reasons why he is earning what he’s earning?  Is it lack of ambition or just a situation where he is trying to better himself and has to work his way up from the bottom.  Simply putting complete emphasis on how much the guy earns is very shallow.  Ok so we may look unimpressed when he rolls up in a Primark suit and pays for dinner with a voucher off of his bus ticket but he could be a really sweet guy who believes there is more to life than money.  He may rather be doing a job that he loves for less pay than work in hideous office with bonuses, suits and company laptops.  If that is the case then don’t let money get in the way of true happiness.  However if he is just a lazy stoner working in Burger King, then him and the Renault Clio can keep driving.

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Is Our Private Life Ever Really Private?

http://askamydaily.com/snooping-presents-relationship-issuesHow often have you been on a night out with your girlfriends or with your man, and have woken up to your news feed covered in pictures of you from the night before?  Starting the beginning of the night looking like Angelina Jolie, eyelashes pristine and clutch bag intact, fast forward a few hours outside the cab rank looking like Amy Winehouse.  Friends status’ where they have tagged you in explaining to the world how many Jagerbombs you did and how many tables you danced on/and fell off.  Our friends and family have now become the local paparazzi’s of the decade.  Watching our every move and threatening to tag us in the end of evening shenanigans.  Not only after nights out but embarrassing quotes we have come out with or unflattering mug shot / side boob pictures of that dress that doesn’t quite sit right.

The recent pictures of young Miss Middleton go to show that not even royalty are safe from the prying eyes of social media.  Weather these were old or new pictures it does not matter.  When Ashton Kutcher posted the picture of his then beloveds behind, Demi Moore on Twitter back in August 2009.  Talk about an invasion of privacy.  Famous or not I think many women would view this as an almost dump-able offence, being snapped in your granny pants by your boyfriend for all to see.  Whatever you may think of the prank, secretly it’s nice to know that celebs are just like us and they wear big granny pants sometimes too.  That they don’t always take a flattering shot and have cellulite like the rest of us (OK maybe she didn’t have any cellulite).

Alongside unflattering photos your friends make take of you, Facebook and Twitter are now becoming excellent reasons to snoop on your partner without them knowing that you are.  Every status update now tracks exactly where you are in the country, and who he has recently become ‘friends’ with.  When he says he is at Steve’s house playing Xbox but his news feed is showing he is actually in Central London you know something’s up.  I was out with a girlfriend the other day; we had been to the cinema and then went for a few drinks afterwards.  Now before I had even ordered the drinks, she had already tagged the two of us on Facebook at ‘The Western Front’ and was taking pictures of the two of us in said pub.  Now not that I have anything to hide from my boyfriend but if for any reason I didn’t want him to know I was there or with that person then I would have no way of keeping that private.  The two of them are on Facebook so can access both mine and each other’s news feeds.  Sometimes it’s not always about wanting to keep anything from your partner or friend, its more about not wanting the whole world to know you’re every move.  Sometimes you may want to lay low if you’ve had a row with your boyfriend, take solace in the pub with a girlfriend for a few hours.  You return home and of course say you have been for a walk to clear your head only to find out when you’ve returned he actually already knows you’ve been in the bat and ball with Lucy.

It’s the pictures of your new boyfriends ex-girlfriend sprawled all over his Facebook profile which you despise the most.  Only after a few months that you demand they are deleted from his life.  Not like the old days when you could just simply hide a few photos in the back of your underwear draw.  Not only that it seems like people’s whole relationships are now decided by what ‘Relationship Status’ you have decided to put yourself in.  If he hasn’t put that he’s in a relationship after 2 months then it’s obvious he wants to meet other women and accept friend request of random girl’s right?  No not true, some men are just that lazy that they are too idle to change it.  My boyfriend’s relationship status was ‘In a Relationship’ as soon as we met (because of course I Facebook stalked him as soon as I found out his last name).  This completely freaked me out as we hadn’t even slept together at this point!  It was only a few months down the line he told me he had never actually changed it from his previous relationship.  Nice.  Personally I don’t have a status as I do not need to tell the world I’m in a relationship nor when I break up with someone to then be in breach of mass pitying on my wall.

Whether you are into social media or not, the fact is someone you know or your friends or boyfriend are more than likely are into it.  The only way to keep your private life private is to stop going out apparently.

(Becca Ripley was at Home)

Image reproduced from askamydaily.com

Love Labour’s Lost

Remember when Aristotle claimed that ‘Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies’? Well no, of course not, but we have all heard the quote, we have all dreamed and desired to love someone as passionately and ferociously as that, but have we all lost faith in relationships and worse still, irrevocable love?

More and more I am hearing of people maintaining that ‘relationships are temporary’ and that ‘monogamous relationships don’t exist’ Admittedly, I am a 21 year old girl, with 21 year old friends, but that once was the age were dreams were at the highest. Visions of white dresses, platinum rings and an eternity of interweaved hearts have now been replaced by the here and now and fear of divorce papers, custody battles and heart ache.

Can we even recall a time where love didn’t involve signing contracts? When loving someone was enough? When falling in love meant being safe and secure and above all else, happy?

Before the 1700’s there was effectively no divorce in England, a time when people fought to make their relationships work. And obviously, there has and always will be, casualties of love, but I strongly believe we should never stop fighting for it. Despite my parents’ divorce over 10 years ago, I am a love enthusiast as; after all, what would we be without love? We’d be empty, useless gaps in the planet. We’d be functional but no more. Hearts beating just to pump blood, minds racing just to find answers, just to remember figures and bank details and postcodes, not birthdays and anniversaries and favourite foods. We’d be shells, worn down by the sea and washed up on a beach. And we’d be waiting for some bikini-clad bombshell or a tight-shorts Mr Right to pick us up, polish us off and take us home to put on the mantle or in a shoebox in the loft.

If that is life without love well, that is where I’d rather be. Sitting in a shoebox. In a loft.

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Boyfriend Proofing Your Make-Up

The honeymoon period. Arguably one of the happiest times of any relationship. He picks the wine on your eagerly-anticipated date nights in romantic restaurants, giggling while sneaking into the back of the cinema like a couple of loved-up teenagers, and all his charming little habits like the adorable way he corrects your grammar. Even the way he forgets to call you back because he’s caught up in an incredibly important Xbox war with his mates doesn’t irritate you. And vice versa; he laughs it off when you’re late because your meeting ran over (AKA having a pre-date mental breakdown because you have NOTHING TO WEAR), and he only ever sees you looking your most fabulous.

Fast forward six months and it’s all trackies, Croydon facelifts and un-waxed legs. (Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about…) We’ve all been there, It’s the first time you’ve stayed over his house, you wake up in the morning knowing full well the pillow will be covered in foundation and your hair will have moulded itself into a style that even Russell Brand would deem offensive. And while you’re lying there wondering if he owns hairspray (and secretly hoping he doesn’t) and debating whether you could fashion some concealer out of his toothpaste, he wakes up and sees what he’s really let himself in for.

Call me old fashioned, but I think it’s nice to want to look good for your man. Granted it’s not always possible (acceptable excuses including: festivals- even the lucky few natural beauties amongst us struggle here, and long haul flights- too much air con and alcohol dehydration to contend with) but I don’t see anything wrong with trying to keep the spark alive for as long as possible. Now I’m not saying a full face of make up 24/7 is essential to do this, but a bit of strategically placed concealer here and there can never be a bad thing, right?

With this in mind, I started thinking about how to achieve this with minimum effort. Or as I like to call it; ‘Boyfriend Proofing’ (trademark pending). Boyfriend Proofing is the art of looking as gorgeous as possible for as long as possible for as little effort as possible. Trust me, it’s possible. Here are my favourite tried and tested (by yours truly) products to guarantee they’ll never be a Picasso style version of your face imprinted onto the pillow ever again.

smeared makeupStarting with foundation. There’s nothing worse than the above crime (pillow soiling) or even worse, leaving a cloud of powder on his nose every time you kiss him. The key term here is ‘transfer proof’! A lot claim they can do this but few truly can. It’s a tricky job trying to find a long wear base that won’t look too cakey, but lucky for you I’ve held a few experiments (and thrown away half a dozen pillow cases in the process). Here are my top 5:

1. Dior ‘Forever’ (£32)- Does what it says on the tin!
2. Bare Minerals Original Foundation (£25)- Very natural finish, but won’t clog your pores if you leave it on overnight.
3. Estee Lauder ‘Double Wear’ or ‘Double Wear Light’ (£28.50)- this is not for the feint hearted. Very full coverage but will not budge!
4. Lancôme ‘Teint Idole Ultra’ (£27.50)- Gives a very flawless, smooth finish and has serious staying power too.
5. B. Flawless Complete Coverage (only in Superdrug £9.99)- Slightly more purse-friendly, but just as good as its more expensive competitors.

Next up; Mascara. Morning panda eyes is an unflattering affliction to say the least. However nowadays mascara formulations have advanced so much that this need not be an issue. There exists a breed of mascara that can only be removed with water and comes off in ‘tubes’ as opposed to smudging under your eyes. Here’s my top 3:

1. Shu Uemura ‘Tokyo Lash’ (£20)
2. Blinc Mascara (£19.50)
3. L’Oreal ‘Double Extension Beauty Tubes’ (£11.29)

So there you have it ladies, the tools for waking up as much as of a goddess as you looked the night before. Now there really is no excuse is there?! As for the trackies, Croydon facelifts and un-waxed legs? That’s all on you…

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Reasons to be Single!

Ok so summers’ drawing to an end but that doesn’t mean that we need to get our boyfriend heads on and start prowling for long term meat!  There is still so much fun to be had as a single gal in the city (or country).  There are some ideals that being single in the summer and having a boyfriend in the winter might just be the perfect combination for the girl about town.  However as the nights are drawing in there are many reasons why it’s just as fun to keep frolicking with your girls and not the boys!

31-Great-Reasons-to-Live-Single-300x199Sending quality time with your girlfriends.  You can hook up with your girlfriends at any time without having to feel guilty that you haven’t spent enough time with your boyfriend.  Cocktails with Amy on a Tuesday night without having to clear it with homeboy first.

Being able to order 241 cocktails. Being able to take advantage of 241 cocktails with your best girl.  Not having to neck 2 while homeboy sits there with a Becks.

Being able to kiss as many boys or girls as you like!  This has got to be the best reason, right?  Kissing numerous boys has got to be the highlight of being single.  The best thing about just kissing is that you don’t have to feel committed afterwards.  You can be like a teenager again and just spend your nights kissing boys with no judgement.  The best thing is, it’s completely safe and you can’t catch anything!  Ok watch out for those pesky cold sores, they’re hard to see in the dark.

Go on a girlie holiday minus the guilt.  Not having to choose between a holiday with your man and a trip to Italy with the girls.  Something all single gals should do at one point in their lives.  It’s like a rite of passage the girls holiday.  An action packed week with 3 of your best girls, that’s points 1,2 and 3 all rolled into one!  And frolic you shall!

Being able to take that promotion in London.  If you’re lucky enough to be given a job opportunity in a different area of the country you don’t have to either turn it down because your boy wont move, or have to think about anyone else’s needs.  You are free to live where you like!

Free to come and go as you please.  You can stay out till 3 am on a Wednesday night and not have to explain your actions to anyone.  Not having to pretend that you only really had 1 bottle of wine, when really it was 3 and you passed out in the toilets for several hours.

Waking up in your clothes with no judgement.  Girlfriends never judge they help you get undressed and don’t shout at you the next day for how drunk you were the night before.  They hold your hair and they get you chips on the way home.

Not having to watch the Grand Prix.  Or football, or golf or have to pretend to be interested in any of those things.  Instead choosing to watch Friends reruns on comedy central.

Wearing whatever you like.  Not having to worry your boyfriend thinks its too slutty.  Hopefully none of you will be told what to wear but sometimes a disapproving look is all it takes

Getting yourself those Choos.  Not having to wait (and wait, and wait) for someone to buy them for you.  You can stop wishing at Christmas and birthdays and just save up and buy them yourself!  Simples!

Playing Taylor Swift. Brittany, Backstreet Boys, Girls Aloud, PSY

Remember, you are not Bridget Jones.  Get your leather wet looks on and get the mojitos in ladies its 241.

Challenging Family Relationships

One of the most frequent things that I hear when I talk to people about loving yourself first is “How do I deal with negative family members?”

This is a great question.

There are no absolute answers to this but I will offer my opinion on the subject.

 

Every relationship that you have with your mother, father, son or daughter is not just a relationship between two people. It is the result of generations of family conditioning, beliefs and habits that have been passed down. We learn and model behaviours of our parents whether we like it or not as children.

An unconscious belief or pattern that you are currently running could have originated hundreds or even thousands of years ago by a long distant relative and you are just playing it out on one person who is close enough to listen to you and believe what you say to them because they trust and love you.

We are born into this world with a desire to connect and our parents are the ones who spend most time connecting with as kids. When one day they start shouting, saying negative things and appear unhappy, we take that on board emotionally and energetically. This was probably what happened to them – as they were conditioned by their parents.

All negative family members are the result of generations of conditioning that they did not have the tools to process. They were not prepared for this. They did not have the realisation to know that these feelings were not personal – just an opportunity to change their conditioning.

Because you will have hard-wired and well rehearsed responses to close family it is important to maintain a distance from anyone who is blaming you on a consistent basis. They do not realise that it is not you but generations of sameness that they are blaming.

Being big enough to grasp this concept and change the conditioning is the ultimate objective for anyone looking to move forward in a way that supports their wellbeing.

This change has 4 phases.
1. Awareness (it is not only my mum/dad/son/daughter who is negative but many years of genetic conditioning being passed along)
2. Forgiveness (everything that has ever happened has brought me to this point in my life where I am ready to be at peace with who I am)
3. Acceptance (I accept who I am and who my family are and will learn and grow from everything)
4. Positive focus (I choose to see, hear and feel only what feels good for me.)

In short – see the bigger picture, forgive the person in question and focus on what you want (or you will get what you don’t!)

Forgiveness may not happen overnight, right now. Continued focus on positive outcomes and a desire to unlearn anything that no longer serves you will certainly help though.

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Zero Kids and Counting…

What do you think of when you think of a 30 year old woman?  Do you envision a young, sexy Cheryl Cole mantra, free, single and in 6 inch heels?  Or married, mortgage a couple of kids?  The truth is there is a very confusing pattern of where you should be at age 30.  When I was 15 and I dutifully filled out my end of year book.  I assumed that at age 30 I would be working in London (as that’s where all the magic happened) with my own house and 4 kids!  I also thought that age 30 was really old and I would be baking, knitting and wearing tweed.  Little did I know that man upstairs had other things in store for me, such as a rental agreement and at 30 something, no kids to speak of.   A little bit of baking here and there but have used Cosmopolitans and luxury holidays as a replacement for knitting and children.

Cosmopolitan-Cocktail-Recipe

Many of my girlfriends are choosing not to have children yet as either they want to concentrate on their careers as one reason.  The other is they quite frankly like having their own things not covered in peanut butter and jam.  Also to be able to leave the house to go for a glass of wine at 8pm on a Wednesday.  To be able to lie in on a weekend and spend money on shiny handbags.

I believe that women are having children slightly later in life, not just for their careers but because they want to enjoy nice things, nice holidays and save up for Jimmy Choos instead of new buggies.  The majority of my girlfriends have given themselves a very loose time frame for having children.  The pressures aren’t the same as they used to be when our mothers had us.  The only thing that can push some women into getting pregnant is the fear of her eggs drying up and the choice being taken away from her.

pic-baby-feetAccording to medical science if you are over 29 and are trying to conceive or are pregnant then you are considered an ‘old mother’.  Imagine that; not even hit the next decade of life and your eggs are starting to die on you.  Once you hit 35 your chance are cut in half of conceiving and you can probably spend the next 5 years panicking about that and having as much IVF treatment as ‘Octomom’.

I overheard a girl at work recently who said she is 24 and she is looking into fertility treatment as she was producing too many eggs.  This is a girl who is 24 (and for starters telling the whole break out area about her womb activities) but is actively trying to get pregnant.  I remember being 24 and wondering where my next dress and heels were coming from or if I was going to a club that weekend.  Certainly not fertility treatment and the rate that my eggs are being produced.

Now that makes me feel like an old mother.

How to Survive Christmas with the In-Laws

Like any good girlfriend I try to impress my boyfriend’s family as much as possible.  Helping in the kitchen where need be, not swearing or smoking or drinking too much.  Basically the exact opposite of how I actually live my life!  The festive period is no different.  If anything you have to be on better behaviour as there will be a gaggle of family members all waiting to converse with you.  One or two family members is fine, that you can handle.  In laws mum and dad is doable, its when there are 18 family members, wives, girlfriends, kids, dogs and the dogs kids all waiting to see if you embarrass yourself!

in-laws party

My biggest fear and always has been is not so much being caught smoking or swearing.  Its having one too many Chardonnays over dinner.  Not having enough carbs with dinner as you ate carbs on Wednesday and then bitterly regretting it.  After a few glasses of fizz and picking at carrot sticks, feeling light-headed  you then proceed to suddenly think it’s a good idea to tell your boyfriends mum how good in the sack he really is!  Getting drunk in front of the In Laws is like getting drunk at your Christmas work do. Mortifying.  You have this glowing report in front of his family, sweet, kind, well spoken and a bit on the shy side, until you neck too many snowballs.  Note to self, stick to a 3 drink maximum throughout the whole evening, gorge on the buffet Barbara has prepared and try not to flirt with his dad too much.  Don’t wear anything too short or tight and run the risk of getting unwanted attention from his uncle or dad (especially after a few advocaats).

Once you have managed to stay sober and grope free you just need to managed the types of conversation which are going to be thrown at you.  Remember your boyfriend isn’t going to be with you the whole evening so you need to know how to hold your own without him holding your hand.  I find that the general topics they will throw at you will be about work and family life.  If you’re in a job you hate, don’t tell them that as they will wonder why you haven’t don’t anything about it.  When asked do you enjoy working for the call centre at age 30?  Politely tell them that while there is a recession on you feel lucky to even have a job at all and that you are pleased to contributing to society in these tough economic climes.

When you swap gifts and you are presented with a size 16 dressing gown from M&S, smile politely and tell her that you may be able to fit into this after Christmas.  Remind yourself to not get her another bottle of Chanel.

One topic of conversation which will defiantly get thrown at you (especially if your boyfriend is off talking to his weird cousins), is the subject of marriage and babies.  This is dependent on how long the two of you have been together and weather you have been drinking too much earlier in the evening or not.  When approached with ‘so you’ve been together a few years now any plans to have children or get married?’  It’s like the dreaded question when neither of you are planning anything like that!  You can never give them the answer that they want to hear.  Yes we are planning on having a baby in around 6-8 months and to have a wedding before that so as we don’t have a bastard child.  What you really want to say is, F-off were happy as we are thank you and there is more to life than soiled underwear and having your make up tipped into your Mulberry bag.  Giving up your independence for the next 18 years is not something you would generally like to plan and if you wanted to do it then you would have done it by now.  But instead you tell them it’s something you’ve talked about but you’re not planning anything just yet.  You then have that conversation with your boyfriend a few weeks later and ask why after 4 years of being together there’s not even been a mention of a ring.

With all this under your belt his family will be putty in your hands.  With any luck they will love you as much as he does (some more than others!).  Just remember to stay sober, eat the food provided and smile sweetly at the stories which are being told!  No smoking, heavy drinking, shouting or falling down! Behave like a lady at all times and things should go smoothly and save the scrapping for New Years.

Image reproduced from guardian.co.uk

Picky, Faulty or Simply Unlucky – Part 2

“I don’t like to be labelled as lonely because I am alone!” - Delta Burke

As suggested in part one, being single in your thirties can give rise to implied connotations, hidden disapproval and unexpected complications.  Deeply immersed within an opinionated society, (and steadily swimming alongside fellow peers who have adhered to certain expectations), the happily single thirty-something may suddenly find herself drowning from the pressures of speculative questioning and flabbergasted facial expressions, every time her single status is discussed.

Single? Happy?

Single? Happy?

Red Carpet  Vs. Painting the Town Red

Despite trends in the celebrity world where childbirth is now embarked upon later on in life and the furtive emergence of the sexy cougar, there is still an underlying buzz that surrounds the choice to remain single. Over the years, females such as Rachel McAdams, Tyra Banks and Mindy Kalm, have illustrated the possibility of achieving success and happiness, whilst remaining single. On the other hand, the average female who enjoys the perks of a thriving career and an occasional night out with her supportive network of friends, may still be caught in the trap of annoyingly having to justify her status and reassure the outside world that she is happy. Everyone seems to have an opinion, or harbour an element of curiosity when it comes to the single woman in her 30’s. At City Connect we continue to look at some of the real reasons behind this status.

Once Bitten Twice Shy?

On entering a room you exude the amount of poise, charisma and exuberance necessary to spontaneously approach strangers, or be a main speaker at a boardroom conference. Equipped with intelligence, charm and life experience, you may find that it is your cheekiness and directness that intimidates or scares of a date. Family members worry that you unnecessarily erect barriers with the opposite sex, you constantly make excuses as to why the last Wentworth Miller lookalike had very little potential and the world is of the opinion that you are unable to let your guard down to embrace potential happiness. Sadly, the concept of trust may be tarred by the serial cheating ex and the idea of love just a fallacy, owing to the partner who led a double life or the pretentious ex who had no intention of settling down.

The truth is…

We all know that future actions can be predetermined by past events and that we treat others in the manner in which we are accustomed to be treated. For most, the Rihanna song ‘Good girl gone bad’ resonates on a deeper level and there are those who are unable to differentiate between allowing another person to love them, and giving them the opportunity to hurt them again. However, you are open to the possibility of finding love and know that one bad egg does not necessarily contaminate the pack. You may come across hard to the outside world, but secretly you know that if the right man came along to crack your shell, you would happily allow him to melt your heart!

The Idealist

You are the ultimate romantic! Fortified with the tub of Haagen Daz ice-cream, box of tissues and comfortable slippers, you wholeheartedly throw yourself into the concept of finding true love. Sniffling at the moments in movies where timing is not quite right and rejoicing at the pivotal moment when cupid strikes; you are not willing to settle for anything less than perfect. You are confident that your knight in shining armour will sweep you off your feet, open car doors and shower you with romantic gestures. Whilst friends think you reside in an unrealistic bubble, you loyally stick to the idea that there is someone out there for everyone.

The truth is…

You believe that if waiting for the man who knows how to treat a lady right is being unrealistic, perhaps you really are not ready for a relationship. In your social circle, you secretly admire the men who possess the traits you desire, (so you know they do exist) and spend countless hours on the phone with distraught friends who have jumped into relationships with their eyes closed. Hugh Jackman may not knock at your door, but your letterbox will help filter the one night stands, from the one gentleman who will ring your bell in more ways than one!

2013 Woman

We have all heard of the evolved New Age man that wears mascara, carries a man bag and spends more time than you in the bathroom. It is now time to embrace the 2013 woman who has been through the fire of relationship turmoil and spent a considerable amount of time to rehabilitate her body, heart, and spirit. During the process you have immersed yourself in another area of your life to distract, entertain and better yourself. As a result your ideas of marriage may have changed, you have become more independent and your man has to match the ambition, dreams and drive that you now possess.

Man! I Feel Like a Woman (Shania Twain)

Contrary to what most think, you are not a snob and your type of man is not the millionaire that can give you everything. Due to time out of the game, you are adjusting to new methods of dating, enjoying random experiences and gauging what the new you truly want from a relationship. Up until this point you may have been motivated by ambition, money or status and whilst you are comfortable being alone, you are happy to redefine your boundaries to allow the right man into your life. However, as you have waited this long, the right man has to be worth the sacrifice!

Meeting Mr Right can be difficult, regardless of what stage you are in life. So whether being single in your thirties is a clever guise for the woman who is set in her ways, holds unrealistic expectations, or simply an individual ‘who is strong enough to live and enjoy life, without depending on others,’ the debate continues!

Picky, Faulty or Simply Unlucky – Part 1

With Beyonce’s undeniable vocal skill celebrating its benefits, alongside Ne-yo’s sexy tones highlighting the magnetic allure of them, the single woman in 2013 is largely considered as a physically autonomous and mentally powerful female, armed with abundant choices. However, despite glamorous examples of females, such as Kelly Rowland and January Jones, it seems that the once celebratory and supportive consensus, (that is enjoyed by most in their 20’s), gradually fades once individuals reach their thirties. Recent statistics illustrate that one in five women, in Britain, over 35 is single and childless, with numbers suggesting that women are more financially capable if they choose to marry later in life. Nevertheless, the single 30-something is still met with negative attitudes, stigmas and messages ingrained from childhood.

SJP as Carrie Bradshaw

SJP as Carrie Bradshaw

I don’t need a man!

The Pussycat Dolls confidently crooned about their ability to enjoy life without having someone to share it with, but do these lyrics reflect the true feelings of singletons? From a young age, we tend to set the thirties as a benchmark for that perfect job, 2.4 families, amorous relationships and stability. Braced for battle, we enter this decade with an increased sense of self awareness and anticipation, (which if single), appears to be unevenly matched with a suspected shrinking dating pool, increased personal responsibilities and a detachment to our previous social crowd, who have all settled down. Whilst there may not be any malicious intent; the raised eyebrows, shocked expressions and psychological questioning used to ascertain what is wrong with you, can be a little tedious.

Someone press the snooze button!

The antics of the notorious Sex in the City girls, alongside the infamously engaging and humorous journey of Bridget Jones, has provided years of inspiration and seemed to disassociate the assumption that being single later in life, is linked to feelings of loneliness, failure and melancholy.  Highlighting the fun of flirting, rejuvenating those belly butterflies and encouraging females to take more control in being the masters of their own destiny, (whilst the plots focused on finding true love), they gave females the encouragement to experiment and enjoy their status of being single.

Venus vs. Mars

Their effect just scratched the surface. As whilst you can openly drool over the mature eligible bachelors, (who have more time to play the field and enjoy the bachelor life with a prosperous career), in popular magazines, there is a distinct lack of the female equivalent. Instead this is replaced with constant reminders of how loud your body clock is ticking, scrutinising statements, sympathetic suggestions on how to date and offers to match make.

Why are you single?

This question alone can be uncomfortable for some singletons, but in order to dispel the stereotypes, or try to alleviate the pressures on 30-somethings looking for love, it has to be addressed. Everyone seems to have an opinion, so we at City Connect have decided to explore the stereotypes and stigmas that may give rise to the woman whose bad experiences, ambitious streak or personal preferences, prevent her from walking down the aisle!

Single Stunner!

From the outside world, you are extremely aesthetically pleasing! Blessed with amazing genes, never short of male attention and constantly receiving compliments, there is the immediate assumption that there has to be an inherent negative reason as to why you are still single. With a supposed line of dates at your door, you may be considered to be too picky, possess personality defaults, or have unrealistically high standards.  Family members will express their concerns, friends may be tempted to encourage you to settle with the last average date and the daily briefing at work may consist of some dating tips from fellow colleagues.

The truth is…

You have edited your perfect man requirement list and have made a conscious choice to entrust yourself to fate, rather than the pressures of society. You are not one for excuses, but maturity has given you an acute sense of consciousness. You are aware of your worth and would not purchase a wedding dress that you had reservations about simply because it fit you.

Reeling in the wrong fish?

You may have experienced quite a few relationships, but they all seem to come to the same ill-fated end. Friends can compose a physical e-fit of your potential beau and family members are able to list the traits you look for, simply because all your ex’s seem to be the same. You fall fast for the cheeky boy personality and furiously shrug off the composed intellect, preferring a rugged Vin Diesel, to a well groomed Paul Walker. To the outside world, you are your own worst enemy for refusing to open up your pool to other potentials.

The truth is…

You have dated a variety of different men, no longer base your ideal man on his superficial appearance and you are mature enough to understand that whilst men may physically possess similar components, they vary in substance. However, if you find that you are consistently complaining that your ex’s take financial advantage, never have enough time for you, or serially cheat, you may have to reassess your relationships and the part you play in them.

“Being single used to mean that nobody wanted you. Now it means you’re pretty sexy and you’re taking your time deciding how you want your life to be and who you want to spend it with.” (Sex and the City)

What Makes Some Women Marry So Quickly?

With yet another marriage under her belt, Katie Price proves to us that she is a woman with little or no morals when it comes to getting married.  Marrying former stripper Kieran Hayler after only 2 months of knowing him is proving to be the norm for ‘The Pricey’.  Nothing pricey about marrying someone after 8 weeks of knowing them.  With Alex Reid married and divorced in under a year and Peter Andre under her belt, if I was Kieran I would be worried this may not be the true love story he is after.  She is the modern day Joan Collins except cheaper, tackier and cheaper again.

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Katie is just another celebrity in a long line of celebs who decide that marrying and divorcing in under a year is suddenly the thing to do.  She’s not the only one who is at it, let’s all take a little look at the ridiculous life of Kim Kardashian and her 72 day marriage to Kris Humphries.  We were led to believe that he was her true soul mate and the KKK Klan was going to spout wings in the shape of teeny tiny Kids.  Instead, after spending an eye watering £13 million pounds on her wedding she still decides that throwing in the towel after 72 days is completely justified.  Go Kim.

These ridiculous pointless celebrities can almost justify their actions as they have an abundance of cash and can throw it at as many weddings and divorces as they see fit.  Reason being is that they do not have to save like us mere mortals.  We all hope that we only get married once in our lifetimes, partly because we can’t fork out for it second, third and fourth time around!  It seems to becoming a bit of a trend at the moment.  I can see more and more of my girlfriends getting hitched or at the very least getting engaged in under a year.  Has this become the norm within my social clique?  No longer do these women want to wait for a few years to be sure that these guys are defiantly the one.  It’s a proposal in under a year otherwise they are pushing for one.  I have been with my boyfriend for coming up to 5 years and although I can safely say marriage does cross my mind, it’s not the only thing on my mind.  I’d love a huge rock and a great big pudding dress and have everyone look at me for the day but quite frankly I have better things I would rather spend my money on (like Jimmy Choos).

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Lots of people I know ask me why me and my boyfriend aren’t married or at least engaged yet; clearly being 30 odd is no spring chicken anymore and if I don’t marry now then I’ve missed the wedding boat apparently!  I am perplexed with questions like ‘Don’t you want to get married then?’ when sat with other married couples.  As if not becoming one with my partner is not good enough for some people.  I would like to remind these married couples that the statistics of first marriages are that 50% of them end in divorce first time round.  That figure goes up to 66% second time round, and if you think that third time is a charm, I’m afraid that 75% of you are heading for the divorce courts.

I’m all for marriage and it should be a joyous occasion for everyone involved.  A time to show the world how much you love each other, not something to be had after a few months of dating because you feel like it (Jordan), or because you think this is what you should be doing.  Take your time ladies make him work for it.  Everyone knows the honeymoon period wears off after a year anyway; just don’t let that last longer than your marriage.

How Far Would You Go For The One You Love?

How far is too far?  Is there such a thing?  It’s one thing following your man to the pub when he wants to watch football and you want to be seen as the ‘supportive girlfriend’.  It’s another thing perhaps when he wants you to follow him to the other ends of the earth.  To another country for work, for a year or maybe longer.  He’s been offered a job in south East Asia, his company will pay for him and you to leave and start a new life there.  It’s his dream job, its great money and you will get a nice apartment to live in.  The perfect set up, so what’s stopping you?

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Your job for one, you have a job that you love and you have spent the last 3 years trying to build up a sound career for the company you work for.  All your friends and family of course are here.  You see your mum every week for a catch up.  Aunties, uncles and cousins all within driving distance and those impromptu Saturdays with the girls will seem like a distance memory.  You won’t know the language and will spend the majority of your days pointing at things and talking very loudly into your dim sum.  What happens if you can’t find a job for months?  No job and having to make new friends as an adult is always going to be difficult if not detrimental to your self-esteem (especially if you’re not working).  How do you make friends when you’re on the other side of the world with possibly no job for a good few months?  You make friends with his friends wives and become ‘that’ girl for a while until you find your feet.

So is swapping Sambuca for Saki as scary as it sounds?

There are so many plus points of living abroad (especially if your airfare is paid for).  You get to experience a completely different way of life.  People will be interested in you as a foreigner and will take an interest in your accent and your mannerisms.  It’s always a good talking point as a newbie.  You get to learn a new language as you go.  Most people say that living in a country for 3 months you pick up the basics in that time.  Your boyfriend will be forever in debt to you.  ‘What do you mean I can’t have those earrings?’  ‘I moved to Asia for you!’  You could only have some fun with this for so many months though I’d imagine.

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You get to stay with the one that you love and you don’t have to go through the wretched turmoil that is long distances break up.  (Eventually a break up is inevitable for most I’m afraid if you become long distance lovers).  You always get to come back to your home town whenever the airfare will allow it.  There’s the wonders of Skype now which is a really good substitute when contacting the girls and family.  Finding out about a whole other part of the world and being privileged enough to live there.  Not many people get given an opportunity to move to another country and start a fresh.  You can draw a clean slate where nobody knows you.  Plus your friends get a free hotel for a few weeks when they come to visit.

I’m always secretly hoping that my boyfriend gets offered a job to other than Hull one of these days.

Do you do it purely for the one you love though?  The answer to that is always going to be down to the couple themselves.  What may work for one won’t work for another and hey there’s always Skype?!

Personally I would like to think I would relish the chance to move to another place if my partner was shipped over somewhere else.  Even if it was Hull, now that’s love for you.

Post Break-Up – Are You Hard or Soft Centred?

The end of a meaningful relationship is one of the hardest things to cope with, as it often leaves us exposed to a Pandora’s box of emotions. Newly single, you are forced to cope with the loss of that special person, as well as the shattered hopes and dreams of your previously planned future together. Advice of how to cope is abundant; from taking the time to invest in yourself and reconnecting with friends, to assessing your options and finding that new lease of life to help fill the void. So, whilst Cheryl Cole chose to inherently focus on her career, other celebrities such as Paris Hilton, Kate Winslett and Kim Kardashian elected to invest in luxurious pampering treats and holidays abroad to help them deal with the heartache.

We all possess unique traits and characteristics, so whilst generic advice will aid the process, every break up will affect each individual in an inimitable way. Most of us accept that the majority of relationships end for a reason, but very few of us recognise the subconscious personal transformations we make as individuals, to help us cope with the hurt and heartache.

Rhianna’s ‘Good Girl Gone Bad!’

The easiest trap to fall into after a break up is to indulge in insalubrious distractions such as excessive drinking or casual sex, in an attempt to regain power, attractiveness and attention. This individual was once naive, trusting and loyal, but her inability to cope with the enormity of her emotions, exploded into a hurricane of excessive behaviour, poor decisions and a general lack of control. She will experiment with her new found freedom, unknowingly hurt others with her blasé demeanour and lose sight of boundaries. She may blame the opposite sex for her misfortunes or ineptitudes and will engage in numerous no-strings-attached encounters to fulfil her sexual needs. Not allowing herself time to heal, she opts for the quick fix and it subconsciously manifests itself into a self destructive pattern of serial dating, unfulfilling nights out and encounters. To the outside world, she is content in living for the day; secretly she is incessantly looking for the next ‘high’ to compensate for the loneliness to her detriment. Guys take heed of Lauryn Hill’s warning in her song ‘Doo Wop’ and watch out.

The Stone Queen

This female is characterised by her strong personality, substantial confidence and commonsensical way of approaching others. The very definition to Destiny’s Child’s ‘Independent woman,’ (she provides for herself and depends on no one), but may approach men with scepticism, generalise on past experience and be quick to make judgements. She enjoys the benefits of the other sex, but her emotional detachment and sometimes unobtainable expectations may make her appear aloof, unapproachable and a little intimidating. Taking a fighting stance when it comes to love, she remains in full control of the emotional wall, (she has subconsciously built), effortlessly brushing off anyone who taps into any of her weaknesses. She may cling onto the past, continuously make comparisons and subconsciously ensure that no one matches up to her idea of her ideal partner.

Often expecting the man to initiate and maintain contact, she finds it hard to be tactile, hides behind a cheeky exterior and will often play hard to get. Sadly, her success at masking her pain and fears may inevitably make her, her own worst enemy and scare of any potential suitors!

The Settler

Ruffled by the sudden change, this female will immediately seek solace in the arms of the first admirer who expresses interest, just to fill the void. Shunning the opportunity to reunite with old friends, meet new acquaintances and date others, she is blinded by the subliminal messages that convince her that she cannot be alone. The split may have caused a sudden lack of confidence and self esteem and she is anxious about the future, so she invests in the next human replacement to place her back into her comfort zone. Not giving herself time to lament over her last relationship, she jumps straight into the deep end, guided only by fear. Fear of solitude, attending functions alone and ultimately scared of being that female that Adele sings about in her song, ‘Someone Like You’! Positive distractions can open a plethora of opportunities and lift the spirit, but without standards, aspirations or purpose, they can have the converse effect. This female’s impatience and lack of self-love may make her prey to undesirables, lead to future destructive relationships and leave her unfulfilled when it comes to love!

Destiny Child’s – ‘Survivor’

Without a doubt, most people would like to fall into this category. This female has mastered the art of simply using past relationships as learning curbs and stepping stones. She takes time to focus on herself, skilfully manages unconstructive emotions and refuses to allow negative past experiences to influence, or shape her future relationships. The break up was particularly hard, but she allowed herself the recovery time needed to dissect her emotions, scrutinize past faults and make new dreams and objectives. Content in living for the day; she holds on to the hope of new love, innovative experiences and enthusiastically embraces the quest to find her soul mate. Cushioned with the support of her friends and family, she works hard and plays hard, but always has time to make eye contact with that cute man at the bar!

Letting someone go to allow for something better can be a timely, yet rewarding process. Whether you choose to build a fortress around your heart, or allow others to trample on your exposed vulnerabilities, can make a significant impact on your development and the next individual you attract. Ideally we may all want to possess the traits of the ‘Survivor,’ however individuality will dictate that most of us won’t. Remember that very few people leave relationships unscathed, but if you take Christina Aguilera’s advice by unleashing the ‘fighter’ in you and ‘trusting the voice within,’ it might make the process a lot easier!

Images reproduced from sgclub.com, ultimate-rihanna.com, weheartit.com, blog.thirdeyehealth.com and poplicks.com

Secrets and Lies

liesIs it ever ok to lie to your partner?

Ok so great big lies are never ok right?  But what if it is to save a relationship?  Let’s take the obvious one, if you have cheated and you’re in two minds about what to do.  Do you tell your partner and be honest or do you keep quiet and hope the les goes away?  This can depend on how bad the cheating really is.  Revealing a little kiss to your partner could be more trouble than it’s worth perhaps.  You were drunk, it was dark, it was over quickly and if you think back really hard it almost could not have happened.

Telling the truth can be detrimental to your relationship and could quite easily end up in a messy break up.  There’s the issue of trust, it can take months or years to build up again after a cheating scandal.  Now going further than a kiss, that’s a different story altogether.  If you don’t tell your partner then they are none the wiser and you can carry on with your relationship as normal.  Well except the fact that if you are a decent human being then deep down then you have to face the rest of your days wracked with guilt and dodging bars where you think your latest sleaze may be lurking.

Or do you tell all, do the right thing; get it over with and give your partner the respect they deserve.  Face your fear and reveal all to them because honesty really is the best policy.  Expect things to be thrown at you, possibly an angry break up to be had, followed by suddenly wishing that you had just kept quiet and lived with the guilt all along.

What about little lies you all tell to your partner (come on you know you do).  The ones about how delicious the dinner is they have slaved over.  Especially if they never cook, it is especially important to break out the white lie in this instance.  Telling the truth could lead to crushing confidence and them never attempting to cook for you again.  Chow it down and then next time they cook offer friendly tips, like stirring and seasoning next time.

‘No I didn’t drink that much babe honestly.’  What’s the point in telling him you had 3 bottles of wine in town last night?  He will only worry and imagine all sorts his head.  He knows how you get after a few wines when he’s with you, (loud and obnoxious mostly) Let alone when he’s not there, referring to the first reference is what he’s really thinking.

What about gifts that have come from the heart (and you wishing they had stayed there) ‘Oh darling I love this dress/top/shoes they’re so retro and Amish.’  I think in this instance it’s a judgement call.  It’s ok to lie once or twice to spare feelings.  Wear it Christmas day and then flog it on EBay a few months later.  However if this is a repeat offence then it’s time to step up and be a man.  Tell him you don’t like floral harem pants or clunky space heels, that it’s just not your style.  Yes he will be upset to start with perhaps, but it’s for the greater good.  If this behaviour still continues then ask for vouchers and repay him with something from the Bear Factory.

Based on the evidence I believe it can be OK in some circumstances to lie to your partner to spare feelings or to save an unnecessary argument.  If you know he’s going to kick off because you spent the housekeeping money on shoes, then slipping the money back next month doesn’t need to hurt anyone.  Eating his dodgy chili con carne is ok to do because you love him and you want him to cook sometimes.  However going to bed with another person, show you’ve got real problems.  So telling the truth and breaking up is probably the best thing to do all round.

Just make sure you duck when you see the space heels.

How to Survive the Honeymoon Period

“The most important ingredient we put into any relationship is not what we say or what we do, but what we are.”(Stephen R.Covey)

Every day the papers are overpopulated with stories of unfaithfulness, impending divorces and kiss and tell stories of the Rich and Famous.

It seems as though, we have lost the secret ingredient enjoyed by the older generation and replaced it with less fulfilling casual relationships and our ever changing views of marriage.

Most people are happy to be entertained with the drama that surrounds others, but very reluctant to partake in it, so they psychologically opt for enchanting relationships, hoping for love and longevity.

Unfortunately, this can have a negative impact on the choices made within the dating process, due to the superfluous pressure and heightened expectations we place on others when searching for the ‘one.’

There are a few of us that are either serial daters, (callously brushing off anyone who fails to meet expectations, whilst patiently waiting for that ‘special connection),’ or those who find themselves continuously falling at the last hurdle and plagued with the ‘what went wrong’ question. If after a few dates, you find yourselves mutually attracted, but still remain sceptical; here are a few things you should consider to assist with the progression and durability in your new relationship.

Have Fun Challenging Myths and Stereotypes

The dynamics in a relationship vary according to the individuals in it. Whilst your friend may shy away from dating a particular type of guy, you should not let opinions or negative connotations stop you from dipping your toes if you feel that attraction.

Despite the myths, there should be no rules of who approaches who, or how many days you have to wait before calling a potential beau; everyone is different. Confidence coupled with fortitude can be very attractive, but it is far more important to focus on how you conduct yourself, rather than how you are perceived by others.

A lady asking probing questions, (to satisfy her curiosity), will always be better received than the female who pretends to possess a halo, but is easily coaxed into bed.

Location, Location, Location

The initial stages within the dating process should be used as period of exploration. What you choose to do together should provide some insight as to the kind of person you are dating, whilst giving you that much needed time to enjoy each other’s company.

Unless you want your relationship to primarily consist of sexual contact; be smart and try to stay away from conceding to the second date in the bedroom. A healthy sex life with the right person can be amazing, but if it is a long term relationship you are looking for, it is important to find that balance so that sex is presented more as the tempting desert rather than the main course.

Square Peg in a Round Hole?

Compatibility is something that is often overlooked. It is often thought that once you locate the man with an amazing sense of humour, or the female who challenges your intellect that this element will fall into place.

It’s importance become pivotal when you look at the recent breakups of celebrities, such as Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries, or Katie Price and Leandro Penna, (where the location of the family home and complete disregard of culture, lifestyle and family life), led to the rapid deterioration of these relationships.

Differences allow people to maintain their identities, whilst encouraging healthy relationships, but it is imperative to have mutual shared interests. Individuals are often presented with signs that could later lead to ‘irreconcilable differences’ in a divorce, so take heed of that light bulb moment.

Don’t Let Your Past Haunt You

Ill-informed opinions, quick judgements and past experiences can often lead to bad decisions and it is not uncommon to hear singletons sending warning singles to others about the individual who comes to a relationship with ‘baggage.’

This is probably one of the hardest principles to enforce, but you should try not to compare the words and actions of an individual, with that of another and also remember that we all carry some luggage around with us to some extent.

Whilst gut feelings can avoid love triangles, (such as the infamous ‘Bradgate’ saga with Jenifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie), secretly checking up on him and raiding her pockets, will inevitably take away that trust and lead to devastating consequences.

Know Who You Are and What You Want

On the first few dates, we are all guilty of putting on a facade to impress the other person. Every woman dreams of that complimentary man, who showers her with flowers and remembers to open the car door, whilst most men are drawn to the woman who glows when talking about multi-tasking her adventurous side with her cooking.

However, as time progresses, flaws will start to surface and honesty comes into play. You may not want to come across picky, but if you cannot do a long distance relationship, you should say so. If the idea of spending an afternoon in the pub with his friend terrifies you, you may have to give him the red card.

Although you should try to steer clear of making comparisons, if that person does not compliment the individual you are, (or simply has greater priorities), now is the best time to realise that. People love ambition, but very few realise that in order to achieve, you have to sacrifice.

If you are not happy to slot into his timetable, then maybe it is best that just remain friends. Bear in mind that ‘you may have to meet a few wrong ones before you can appreciate the right one.’ Set your standards but balance them with your expectations.

Paul Newman & his wife Joanne Woodward

In summary, dating should be an enjoyable rollercoaster of emotions and experiences, ranging from the butterflies of excitement and flirty phone conversations, to that first sensual touch and realisation that you are falling for that person.

Enjoy yourselves as a couple, embrace new experiences and take comfort in the fact that long term happy marriages do exist; you just have to look at the marriage of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward for proof.

Image reproduced from myqualities.com

How Old is Too Old?

When I think of people in relationships that I know, then most people dating or married are both of a similar age.  This is normally because people either meet in bars where alike aged people go, through friends who are normally of similar age.  There’s not normally more than a 7 or 8 year age gap at the most.  However for some people then being with an older partner is an attraction.  Especially for some women.  This is mainly due to the older the man is, the more likely he will be to wanting to settle down or have children.  He’s sown his oats and slept with every barmaid this side of Margate.  For some women a 20 year age gap can be attractive.  He’s matured, not interested in getting absolutely spannered on a Friday and Saturday night, gawping at the locals in white stiletto’s and faces that will rival that of a pumpkins.  He prefers to stay home with good wine and cheese I expect.  This may be all well and good if you are looking for a more mature man who knows a Chablis from a Sauvignon.  Wine and cheese man is the man for you.

 

But what happens when you want to settle down and stop gawping at the local Lyle and Scott shirt and shoes combo?  You’ve hit 30 and you want babies, but you can’t because wine and cheese man is pushing 50 and would rather swap ovulating with ovaltine.  What about the 20 years after that and the kids (if any) have left home and you can look forward to slowing down a bit and maybe start to enjoy fine cheeses.  Then he is 70 and well he is enjoying his meals through a straw and couldn’t care less what wine you got as long as he was able to drink it unaided.

So far I’ve only mentioned a 20 year age gap, what about the couples (and there are some out there) who opt for partners who are 30 years their senior.   Personally I believe that there is always going to be a struggle with each other’s interests and similar tastes, when there is such a big age gap.  One of you is reminiscing about Toady from Home and Away and the other one is remembering Dallas (first time round).  Music tastes differ, while your still clinging on to your garage and dancehall albums, he’s doing his dad routine to Ray Charles.

People have all sorts of reasons for wanting to date older men or women.  I think when the situation is reversed an older woman and a younger man, society tends to view this as something fun and playful.  A 40 something woman with a 20 something year old man is seen a bit cheeky and a bit trendy.  It’s not something that is supposed to last and supposed to be anything long term.  Normally the woman has children of her own (possibly about the same age).  Also with the woman being that much older, most men (I use the term loosely) are immature at 20, so how far could it ever really go.  I remember being 20 and not even wanting to date 20 year olds.  When I think of 20 year old boys no matter how good looking some of them may be, they just remind me of my brother, who 21 going on 12.  The thought of dating someone that age does not entertain me in the slightest, the toilet humour and the prospect of jagerbombs to entice me.  However what with men peaking at 19 and women peaking in their 30s and 40’s is it any wonder people of similar age stay together!

Turn the tables around and he is either a pervert or very rich (so society says).  Men using women for fun at that age and it is frowned upon.  Women using men for fun is empowering.

I just personally think that if you are going to date someone who is much older than you need to be prepared for what may lie ahead.  Sure it’s fun to start with and age is just a number, but it’s when things get serious and there are children wanting to be involved.  Age becomes much more than a big number and more of a very big inconvenience.  Just make sure you know your Stilton from your Single Gloucester.

When It’s Time To Say Goodbye

OK so you have been together for a while, a few years perhaps and maybe you even live together.  Which will certainly make this harder than it needs to be.  The way you behave around each other isn’t what it once was.  Gone are the days of sipping Chardonnay in a posh cocktail bar.  It’s more of a case of hanging out in your pj’s on a Saturday and arguing about who has control of the remote.  Day to day living consists of pleasing yourself rather than pleasing your partner.  The mere notion of making the teas on a Sunday astounds you, seeing as ‘he never makes them for me’.  There used to be a time when you couldn’t do enough for each other.  Little notes by the bed, offering to make his favourite dinner, he’d be your personal chauffeur on a night out just so he could spend some time with you.  Simple pleasures like spending the day in the park together would be the happiest times.  Snuggling up to watch a film on a Saturday would be your idea of heaven, a few candles and a bottle of fizz to while the evening away.

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Fast forward 3 years and simply being together is not enough anymore.  You argue over the most mundane duties.  You wake up and go to bed at separate times.  When it comes to backing each other’s corner you find yourself going against each other instead of sticking up for each other.  Although you are couple in the literal sense, you couldn’t be further apart if you tried.  Your mere entities living together in a house filled with nothingness.

So what keeps us holding on for so long in these dismal relationships?!  Is the mere notion of being single and back on the market that stressful that you would rather spend your days with someone you don’t even really like anymore?  Do we think that we have failed by walking away?  The real failure is hanging onto something when its already slipped through your fingers.  As this is what it comes down to, you can still love someone but not like them very much in the end.  Love them but not be in love with them.  Clinging onto to these negative relationships because we are scared of being alone, we cling onto them because we think that the relationship will change.  OK sometimes it does (but for how long does that ever last) and on the occasions that it doesn’t then you need to know when it’s time to say goodbye.

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It’s time to say goodbye when you’re having more fun with other people and not each other.  When you realise that he’s never going to take your side in an argument.  When you realise that you’re not a team anymore, you just happen to be on the same side.  It’s time to say goodbye, when he tries to change you.  Or the simple fact that since you have been together you have changed so much that people don’t even recognise you anymore. (OK that’s another article altogether!).  If your favourite time of day isn’t when your man walks through the door then it’s time to close the door on the relationship!  Yes every couple argues and goes through dodgy patches, but when it’s more often than not then please for the love of god move on!  Life is too short to stay with someone when you’re only half into it.  Cut the cord, break the mould and find a new model.  You will be stronger for it.

There’s a whole world of wonderful beings out there ready to date you and treat you like a princess, I’m sure of it….

Getting Rid of Mr Wrong

Having recently received an unwanted and unacceptable e-mail, I decided to write this article to provide the reader with not only a riveting read but also a provocative topic that tries to offer real solutions to problems of violence in relationships, in the shape of a concise guide that transcends traditional approaches to real or perceived danger.

Right now, as you read these words, at least one woman near you is being beaten – and now another. Within the space of a few seconds women in every corner of the world are being beaten by either their boyfriends or husbands. Unlike some violence, spousal abuse is a crime that can be avoided if we act on accurate predictions of danger.

Understanding how people evaluate personal risk may help us better understand why so many women in danger stay with their violent partners. Beaten women have been beaten so much that their fear mechanism is dulled to the point that they take in stride risks that others would consider unacceptable. The relationship between violence and death is not so apparent to them. Being struck and forced not to resist is a particularly damaging form of abuse because it trains the central instinct to protect the self, out of the victim rendering them vulnerable to further abuse. To over-ride any care for the self, a woman must begin to believe that she is not worth protecting.

Being beaten by someone we love creates a conflict between two opposing instincts. The instinct to stay and the instinct to flee. Many batterers control the money, allowing little access to financial information and book accounts. The batterer may start out as a benevolent control freak at the beginning of the relationship and then soon turns into a malevolent control freak, issuing unpredictable punishment and rewards for minor transgressions that challenge his addiction to control, social insecurities and shaky personal identity.

Children who do not learn to expect and accept love in normal, healthy ways become adults who find other ways to get it. Controlling may work for a while, even a long while, but then it begins not to work, and so he escalates his behaviour accordingly to maintain his violent grip. He will do anything to stay in control, but his girlfriend/ ex-wife is chang ing and that causes him to suffer. Men in this position need Counselling and Therapy since it is a choice on their part to continue using violence as a means of controlling others.

Just as there are physical abusers who will hurt every partner so there are serial victims – women who will select more than one violent man to share their life. Social Psychologists such as Abraham Maslow, Erich Fromm and Sigmund Freud to name just a few, viewed violence as the result of an inability to communicate personal needs effectively within reasonable  boundaries. Spousal abuse is committed by people who are frequently described as; kind, caring, sweet, charming etc. The men described so, were all of these things before and during the selection mating process and often still are – between violent battering incidents.

Could these women have seen ‘warning signs’ if they had known what to look for? Falling in love requires to some degree – a denial to see faults, frankly to ‘overlook’ danger signs. In a culture that glorifies and sugar coats romance, propelling people to get married in spite of many reasons not to, the issue of selection and choice brings to attention the valuable work of Psychologist Nathaniel Branden who believes ‘luck’ has very little to do with choice of partner.The common characteristic of a woman who continues to select against her better judgement, violent men, is the woman herself. Once she understands the reasons for her choice of partner and can change her bad choices to better choices, she can then free herself from violent relationships.

So what can a woman who is being beaten do? Seek and apply strategies that make you unavailable to your partner. Take yourself away if possible and continue to remain unavailable regardless of the inconvenience it causes you. It is wiser to get away safely than trying to change the abusing partner or engaging in an emotional war, even if the police and courts are on your side. As with other aspects of safety, the police cannot fix violent relationships.

Unwanted pursuit by ex-boyfriends/husbands may escalate their behaviour to include such things as persistent phone calls and late night text messages, showing up uninvited, stalking and enlisting/manipulating friends and family to force contact. Though he would rather get back into her life, he will accept being just a friend until he can exert his mind control again and reduce her to victim status.

The taught rule in ‘Getting rid of Mr. Wrong’ is to stop all contact. He should be explicitly rejected and no contact continued on his terms. Much depends on how much emotional investment has been made by the battering partner. If he has been beating for years and ignored warnings and interventions, then a restraining order may not be of much help, especially if he has been issuing threats and other sinister behaviour.

Because victims are understandably frustrated and angry, they may look to a court order to do any of the following things; destroy, expose, threaten, change and humiliate the violent partner. Victims can often list warning signs about men who go on to become a problem. One such victim of violence who I shall call Rita shares this story:

I dated this guy called Jason. I met him at a party of a friend of mine, and he must have asked someone there for my phone number (researching the victim). Before I even got home, he’d left me five messages (overly invested) I told him I didn’t want to go out with him, but he was so persistent about it that I really didn’t have any choice. (Men who cannot let go choose women who cannot say no). In the beginning, it was flattering, he was super attentive,  knowing what I wanted. I was amazed he remembered every word I ever said (hyper attentiveness). It made me feel special to start with and then very uncomfortable (victim intuitively feels uncomfortable). He talked about serious things like children and living together early on (whirlwind pace) and of course he monitored my every movement and didn’t like me seeing my friends (isolating her from friends).

The above is all done strategically with a clear agenda by the abusive partner. He is preparing his victim and making sure that she becomes completely dependent on him for her happiness.

Amazingly, classical stalking behaviour and the characteristics of violent partners share striking similarities. The predictability of pre-attack behaviours has been confirmed in Psychiatrist Dr. Park Dietz’s work and his violence inventory, listed below:-

1. Displayed some mental disorder

2. Researched the victim or victim

3. Created a diary, journal or record

4. Obtained a weapon

5. Displayed an exaggerated idea of self (grandiosity)

6. Exhibited random travel

7. Identifies with controlling historical characters

8. Made repeated inappropriate approaches

When it comes to survival signals, it is important that we take note of our intuitions and not turn a blind to our feelings – they might just save us from the mistake of finding Mr Wrong.